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A Rainbow in the Night: The Tumultuous Birth of South Africa

Dominique Lapierre.
Publisher DaCapo  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
ISBN 9780306818820
Pages/Publication Date 288/2009
Daedalus Item Code 21889
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In 1652 a group of Dutch Calvinist farmers landed on the southernmost tip of Africa with a mandate from the Dutch India Company simply to grow vegetables and supply ships rounding the cape. The colonists, however, convinced themselves that they were God's "Elect," chosen to rule over the continent, and their legacy culminated in a racist regime in which a white minority would subjugate and victimize millions of blacks. Dominique Lapierre's epic saga of South African history champions the heroic men and women—famous and obscure, white and black, European and African—who fought to liberate the country that is today known as the Rainbow Nation.

"Author and philanthropist Lapierre offers a harrowing overview of South African history, from Jan Van Riebeeck's first Dutch farming settlement to the presidential election of Nelson Mandela, including the founding of The Orange Free State and the Transvaal, the Boer war, the rise and fall of Apartheid, and more. Beginning with the arrival of Europeans in the late 17th century, Lapierre charts their subsequent Great Trek into the veld, their conviction that God had ordained them to found a new nation; and the martial clashes with Zulus that cemented their belief in white supremacy. Lapierre also recalls the heroes who triumphed over Apartheid: Helen Lieberman, who risked her life to establish health services and education in black ghettos; Christiaan Barnard, the surgeon who dared implant a 'colored heart' in a white patient; and the residents of integrated neighborhoods like District Six, 'an oasis of tolerance'."—Publishers Weekly

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